Feeding laying hens docosa hexaenoic acid-rich microalgae oil at 40 g/kg diet causes hypotriglyceridemia, depresses egg production, and attenuates expression of key genes affecting hepatic triglyceride synthesis and secretion, but is rescued by dietary co-supplementation of high-oleic sunflower oil

Robert G. Elkin, Ahmed S.A. El-Zenary, Rebecca Bomberger, Abiel B. Haile, Evelyn A. Weaver, Ramesh Ramachandran, Kevin J. Harvatine

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Abstract

The primary goal of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding White Leghorn hens graded levels of a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich microalgae oil (MAO) on productive performance and enrichment of eggs with very long-chain (VLC) omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Forty-nine-week-old hens (8 per diet) were fed the following diets for 28 d: 1) A corn-soybean meal-based diet with no supplemental oil (CON); 2) CON + 10 g/kg MAO; 3) CON + 20 g/kg MAO; 4) CON + 30 g/kg MAO; 5) CON + 40 g/kg MAO; 6) CON + 40 g/kg MAO + 20 g/kg high-oleic sunflower oil (HOSO); and 7) CON + 40 g/kg MAO + 40 g/kg HOSO. Diets 6 and 7 were included because we previously reported that co-feeding high-oleic acid oils with n-3 PUFA-containing oils attenuated egg yolk n-3 PUFA contents vs. feeding hens the n-3 oils alone. All data were collected on an individual hen basis. Egg VLC n-3 PUFA enrichment plateaued, in terms of statistical significance, at the 30 g/kg MAO level (266 mg/yolk). Hens fed 40 g/kg MAO had greatly attenuated measures of hen performance, marked liver enlargement, an altered ovarian follicle hierarchy, greatly lowered circulating triglyceride levels, and depressed hepatic expression of key genes involved in triglyceride synthesis and secretion. As compared to hens fed 40 g/kg MAO alone, feeding hens 40 g/kg MAO co-supplemented with HOSO (Diets 6 and 7) restored egg production, ovarian morphology, and all other measures of hen productive performance to CON levels, elevated plasma triglyceride levels, prevented liver enlargement, and increased the hepatic expression of key genes involved in triglyceride synthesis and secretion. In conclusion, MAO can greatly enrich hens’ eggs with VLC n-3 PUFA, but its recommended dietary inclusion should not exceed 20 g/kg. This would allow for near-maximal yolk VLC n-3 PUFA enrichment without impairing hen productive performance, altering the ovarian follicle hierarchy or, based on the work of others, presumably imparting off-flavors in the egg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102318
JournalPoultry science
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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